Virtual Console Mondays: February 26, 2007

February 26, 2007 at 20:25 PST

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Another Zelda classic comes to Virtual Console. How many of those does Nintendo have, anyway?

Hey, look at that. Nintendo brings another AAA Zelda title to Virtual Console. Unlike the last time they pulled a stunt like this, there are two other games to support it. It turns out they are pretty respectable, too.

Before we get into this week's recommendations, we'd like to announce that we've added a new index page for our Virtual Console recommendations. It includes all of our Virtual Console Mondays news features listed by week, as well as an alphabetical list for you to pick a game and see what we thought of it. The list is currently missing a good chunk of releases at the moment, but we're doing our best to fill in the gaps as quickly as we can. You can easily access it on the navigation menu to the left.

Here are the three games released this Virtual Console Monday.

Chew Man Fu - TurboGrafx-16

Chew Man Fu - TurboGrafx-16

Released 7/1990
1-2 Players
Cost: 600 Wii Points ($6)
Controllers: Wii Remote, Wii Classic, GameCube

Chew Man Fu is advertised as a puzzle/action hybrid. The premise is to roam through a fixed-screen maze and pick up four different colored balls, which must be rolled on to the correct colored pads to complete the level. These balls also act as weapons that you can kick to take out enemies or break down walls. The tricky part is that these balls also act as obstacles which can trap you on the wrong side of an incoming enemy. Ball positioning and efficient wall-breaking make up the puzzle part of the game, while the enemies and a quick time limit make the action part pretty fast.

Recommended for FansThis is a pretty decent game, and not a bad deal at 600 points. There's a two player mode to co-op through the game, as well as a funky soccer mini-game to kill time. It's a little on the one-dimensional side to recommend it to everyone, though, so instead we'll just tell all the 16-bit die-hards out there that Chew Man Fu is something you may want to try out if you're looking for something else to play on VC. - Steven Rodriguez

Bio-Hazard Battle - Genesis

Bio-Hazard Battle - Genesis

Released 10/30/1992
1-2 Players
Cost: 800 Wii Points ($8)
Controllers: Wii Remote, Wii Classic, GameCube

Add this game to the already extensive selection of "shmups" on Virtual Console. Bio-Hazard Battle is a horizontally scrolling shooter that plays very much like Gradius and R-Type, although the aesthetics are closer to Darius Twin (which will surely find its way to VC one of these days). The ships and enemies all have biological designs based mostly on insects, fish, and crustaceans. You can choose from four playable ships, each with different handling speed and different sub-weapons.

Recommended for FansBio-Hazard Battle is a solid, entertaining shooter with all the usual trappings of the genre - weak story, occasional slowdown, only a few levels (eight in all), and plenty of difficulty. Your ship always has a "seed pod" which hovers nearby, shooting a sub-weapon determined by the color of power-ups you collect. It's very much like the "options" in Gradius, but it also blocks enemy shots like the pod in R-Type. Although the game technically supports the Wii Remote, you won't have good access to the A button for rapid fire, so the GameCube and Classic controllers are preferable. - Jonathan Metts

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Nintendo 64

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Nintendo 64

Released 11/23/1998
1 Player
Cost: 1000 Wii Points ($10)
Controllers: Wii Classic, GameCube

Ocarina of Time is, and probably always will be, the most significant 3D Zelda. Along with Mario, the franchise made a seamless transition from 2D through retaining the series' root gameplay and adding new facets to take the experience to the next level. The now-ubiquitous Z-targeting, an open world, and complex puzzles are all here. Make no mistake - there's a reason why people call it the greatest game ever made.

Unfortunately, there are a few minor blemishes present in the Virtual Console release. While the N64 controller is nothing to be proud of, its unique setup is difficult to replicate, and as such, using the right analog stick in place of the C-Buttons for item equipment feels a little janky. Luckily, they're also mapped to face buttons, but it's still no replacement for the original scheme. Furthermore, the N64 emulation on Wii doesn't feature rumble functionality, so stuff like the Stone of Agony won't work.

Recommended for EveryoneAt the end of the day, the aforementioned details are minute, and don't really detract from the experience. Ocarina's still one of Nintendo's best releases ever, and it'll still rock your world, even beyond the nostalgia bit. So unless you already own the game in some form, it's a definite purchase. - Karl Castaneda

Steven Rodriguez, Director

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